What Do Personal Injury Lawsuit Timelines Look Like?

What Do Personal Injury Lawsuit Timelines Look Like?

There are more than 25 million unintentional personal injuries in the United States every year that result in a doctor’s visit. Some of these are blameless accidents, but many (including tens of thousands of traffic-related injuries) are the fault of another party. For the latter, the injured person may decide to file a lawsuit.

Since the nature of such incidents is so varied, personal injury lawsuit timelines are difficult to predict. A straightforward car accident case, for instance, may only take a few weeks. Something as complex as a medical malpractice suit involving numerous parties could span years.

The good news is there are some factors you can look at to get a better ballpark of how long a personal injury lawsuit might take. Keep reading to find out what they are.

Timeline for Filing

Every state sets a limit, or “statute of limitations,” for filing a personal injury claim following an incident. Deadlines vary by location and generally range from two to 10 years.

There may be extenuating circumstances that can impact when the “clock” starts running. In general though, if you file a suit outside the statute of limitations window, a court will not hear your case.

Nature of Injury

Two big factors that impact personal injury lawsuit timelines are the type of harm you suffered and where the injury took place. At the start of your claim, the defendant’s attorney will request a medical assessment to determine the full extent of your physical and psychological pain and suffering.

This information is also used to calculate past and future medical expenses, loss of earnings related to the injury, and the cost of any support you may need. It may be a one-time assessment or an ongoing series of them.

The physical location and cause of your injury also will impact the timeline as well. Automobile, workplace, and public space injuries are often the most straightforward and take the least amount of time. Medical injury or industrial accidents can be a bit more complex and take longer to complete.

Pretrial Factors

The time needed to compile evidence for the case is a factor that can differ across all types of suits. This might involve gaining access to medical records or taking depositions. The more parties involved, the greater complexity of scheduling these evidence-seeking endeavors.

Depending on how damning the evidence is against their client, the defendant’s attorney may offer a personal injury settlement. How long negotiations take depends on your willingness to accept the settlement or their willingness to accept a counteroffer.


While most cases do not go to court, it may be necessary. A personal injury trial will involve a series of hearings, jury selection, and arguments from opposing sides. This can span from a few days to many months.

Hiring Capable Professionals

Finding a lawyer is one of the best things you can do to expedite your lawsuit without sacrificing the likelihood of success. Prominent personal injury attorneys will build the best case for you, no matter how long it takes. They also will work efficiently, so that no time is wasted on unnecessary steps.

Learn More About Personal Injury Lawsuit Timelines

Now that you have an idea of the factors that can impact a personal injury case, you can have realistic expectations about when you might receive compensation. Remember that the best thing you can do is hire an experienced lawyer. They will be able to offer you a better idea of the timeline, given the unique circumstances of your case.

We hope this information on personal injury lawsuit timelines was helpful to you. If so, be sure to check out some of our other posts on everything from world news to business and professional development tips.


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